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A second administrator will investigate LA collapse

Created on 09/07/2020 @ 14:22
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A pension regulator has called in a second administrator to look into the finances of Laura Ashley Ltd before it collapsed, it has emerged.

FRP Advisory is understood to be investigating the role of the company's former directors, including its chairman and chief executive, Ng Kwan Cheong.

The Pension protection Fund (PPF) called in FRP after it became apparent Laura Ashley's pension fund deficit was valued at £50m when it was based on a buyout by an insurance company, according to a report in The Guardian newspaper today.

PwC, the administrators brought in to try and rescue the company, say they can only raise £27 million selling off the company's assets. Some of this will involve selling stock at its warehouse and distribution centre in Newtown.

Total debts stand at £162 million, according to their report submitted to Companies House.

Hundreds of people in Newtown and thousands across the UK have lost their jobs as a result.

The Laura Ashley brand was sold to a US investment house.

Some of the company's shops have remained open to sell off stock.

The PPF has said members of the pension scheme "can be assured of our ongoing protection."

It is understood pension savers yet to retire are protected by the 'lifeboat scheme' and will receive 90 per cent of their pension payments up to a capped rate of £37,315 a year.

Former staff have been contacting MyNewtown over the past month highlighting how badly they say they were treated, with some only being told by email about their redundancy by the administrators PwC.

Many had been with the company for decades.

Laura Ashley began in Carno where its international headquarters were until the late 1990s.

While the HQ moved to London, many of the company's operations, such as Texplan, its payroll and accounts, distribution and call centre, were all located in Newtown.



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